SPEEDING drivers have been stopped by children in Llanelli for going over the 20mph limit outside their schools – and asked to explain themselves.
Pupils from Ysgol Penygaer, Ysgol Dewi Sant and Ysgol Y Felin have been taking action to slow down motorists.
A total of 33 drivers were stopped by the schoolchildren (including five for not wearing a seatbelt), supported by the council’s road safety unit and officers from Dyfed-Powys Police , GoSafe, and the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
The children used a Speed Indicator Device to find out what speed passing motorists were travelling. The device flashes their speed along with a happy face if they are within the limit or a sad face if they are over the limit.
Offending drivers are given the option of speaking to the children to explain why they are speeding or receive a £100 fine and three penalty points.
The initiative is part of a wider education and awareness campaign in the Llanelli North area, which is part of a Welsh Government rollout to reduce the national default speed limit.
Llanelli North, which covers Dafen, some parts of Felinfoel and the Llanerch area, has been chosen as one of eight communities in Wales to trial a reduced national speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in residential areas and busy pedestrian streets.
Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole, who went along to Ysgol Y Felin, said: “Evidence shows that lower speeds result in fewer collisions and reduces the severity of injuries, and in particular, where 20mph limits are introduced, there is a reduction in the number of casualties.
“It also encourages people to be more active within the neighbourhood, leading to healthier lifestyles, creating a better environment and quality of life.”
Cabinet Member for Transport Cllr Hazel Evans added: “It is extremely worrying that so many motorists are continuing to speed outside our schools, hopefully this initiative will make people think about the speed they are travelling and the impact it has on local communities and the safety of our children.
“We hope that drivers will adhere to new 20mph speed limit improving safety for all road users, but where they do not, an enforcement strategy has been developed and will be implemented where speeding continues to cause concerns.”
The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “We’ve already seen the effects current 20mph limits have had in reducing speeds and serious incidents on our roads. I believe this innovative enforcement initiative at the site of one of our 20mph pilots will encourage motorists to drive responsibly, placing the safety of children at the forefront of their minds at all times.”
Other awareness-raising initiatives taking place in the area include a Community Speed Watch where local residents have been recruited by Dyfed-Powys Police and GoSafe to monitor the speeds on local roads using speed detection devices. Vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred to the police, and the aim is to educate drivers to slow down and stay within the limit.
In a scheme similar to the speed reduction initiative with the schoolchildren, police and GoSafe are also stopping speeding drivers and giving them the option of the fine and points, or receiving a short presentation from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service on the consequences of speeding in the community.
The road safety team is also working with local schools to encourage more active travel. All primary schools in the area are being offered Kerbcraft training which aims to teach children from aged from five to seven how to be safer pedestrians, as well as on-road cycle training for all year 6 pupils.
Sgt Ian Price, from Go Safe – Dyfed-Powys Police Road Harm Reduction Unit, said “Dyfed-Powys Police, with the support of Go Safe, is working with our road safety partners to help change driver attitudes in recognising a cultural and potential legal change, regarding restricted road status from 30mph to 20mph.
“Historically we have grown up to know that streetlights mean 30, but potential legislative changes in Wales in 2023 will default a restricted road status to 20mph. Too many people are being killed or seriously injured in existing urban areas, in which a reduction in speed limit along with compliance, can only reduce the number of these incidents. We can also make our communities safer places to live by walking and cycling those short journeys.
“Over the next few months, you will see an increased visible presence in the Llanelli North area where engagement, education and enforcement will take place in an effort to change driver behaviour”.
For further information on Llanelli North visit the council website carmarthenshire.gov.wales/roadsafety and follow @carmarthenshireroadsafety on Instagram and Facebook and @carmsroadsafety on Twitter for updates.
Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June
ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.
A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.
An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.
The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.
Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”
If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.
All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.
It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.
Please check for local arrangements.
Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.
Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.
Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.
“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”
Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.
They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS
Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”
“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”
Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.
The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.
Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre
LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.
In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.
This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.
RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”
“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”
“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”
“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”
“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”
“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”
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